Race to Neptune’s new EP Abandon Fashion takes the listener up and back at the same time, a provocatively modern reflection of classic and psychedelic rock. The EP starts with Mortal Melody, introducing the piece with rhythmic, raspy chords blazing until the electric guitar slams in like a wave of fire. Steady instrumentals take over, climbing higher and higher as if you’re going to blast off. The riff heats up with a dominating bass line, giving the extended intro an organic jam session ambiance. The vocals start while you already feel in space, charged with the passionate repetition of ‘Away!’ Catchy lyrics and guitar licks will have you singing (and plucking your air guitar during the sick solo). After the first song, you’ll be ready to go anywhere with Race to Neptune.
Departure takes the listener back down a few wavelengths beginning soft and slow. It draws you in, ready to take this departure to Neptune (obviously I was going to use that pun). Raspy, grungy lyrics beckon the listener to ‘come along’, reminding you of 90’s rock, creating a comfortable element of nostalgia. The singer calls for the listener to ‘buckle in for departure,’ fierce yet comforting. The song shows the diversity of this band, yet still their ability to tie the piece into the greater theme of the album: adventurous exit of comfort space. The thematic elements course through the musical style, a sort of classic space rock with notes of grit and rapture that convey the excitement and anxiety of going somewhere new. Departure flawlessly leads into the next musical leap, Sunsets creating a dichotomy of beginnings and ends, seemingly oppositional yet sides of the same coin.
The third track takes a softer turn with bright guitar notes dancing around the bars, climbing high before dipping low, forming the catchy melody that becomes the skeleton of Sunsets. The notes echo across the lovely space created in the indie surf rock feel. The drums start easy, cymbals ringing like island bells, reminding me of California Christmas (which is always a good thing). The Tom-Toms and bass fall in like symphonic bliss. The bass guitar compliments the melody perfectly, even forming the word ‘California’ within the rise and fall of the notes.
Forgive my utter subjectivity, but this song is my personal favorite on the EP. The lyrics tell a story, the speaker beginning in a small town with ‘nothing going down.’ I feel the words reverberate across my soul as I remember my own journey to California (almost 3 years ago) from my small town in Georgia. The chorus leaves the listener starry-eyed and thinking it’s time to head ‘on out to California’ (you should, it’s an amazing state full of artists tirelessly working to make their dreams come true – living here has changed my life in the best way possible). The guitarist soaks your ears in confidence and expectation. There’s something about music that brings out our inner resilience, like I can hear and feel the best sides of myself expanding. If you’ve ever thought of leaving your comfort zone and moving to a new place, this is the song to blast in your car.
The titular Abandon Fashion starts with a haunting stringed melody, reminding me of the twilight zone (space puns all over the place). The bass falls in slow with poly-rhythmic cymbal hits to build anticipation. Then the kick drum starts with the rhythmic guitar, building up the excitement. It’s similar to the first track in that instrumentals monopolize most of the song, showing off the chops of every musician in the band. It’s as if the band made it to California (or Neptune for symbolism’s sake), and they’re ready to melt your face with musical talent. The soundscape intensifies with peaks like star-capped mountains guided by the incredible bass line like a gravel road. The performance feels like a race down a highway, almost like Race to Neptune know they have the listener by the ears and they’re going to take you all the way past your comfort zone. Abandon fashion, forget reservations, and dance to this amazing EP while your brain races to the stars.
The Abandon Fashion EP introduces two new talented members to the band – Matt Petersen on drums, and Matt McNear on bass. Find & follow Race To Neptune on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Visit their Website for more information.